This is one of the more traditional parts of a wedding reception. However, a couple can choose to follow a traditional route, like a slow dance to a romantic song, or go for something out of the ordinary, with choreography or an up-tempo beat.
Whatever you decide, the key to making the most of this moment is a good song – especially as it will be something that forms part of a stand-out memory of your wedding day.
Making a list of songs
Part of choosing the perfect song for your first dance is finding a track you’d both be happy with.
Think about your musical tastes as a couple. You need to find a song that you’re both comfortable dancing to and both like. Start by making a list of songs you really enjoy. A good way to do this is to make a shared playlist on an audio streaming platform, like Spotify or iTunes, which you can both add to.
At first, just fill it with every song you can think of, regardless of genre, lyrics, etc. Then use this playlist to start eliminating options.
This is a fantastic way to create a shortlist of songs that you can listen to and whittle down to find your final few choices. And, as an added bonus, this also gives a clear indication of your musical tastes – a huge help to your DJ when planning a set list for your wedding reception.
Cutting down your shortlist
There might be songs that you can’t agree on, or those with lyrics that aren’t really suitable for a family wedding. Or you might have songs that you really love, but just don’t work for a first dance. These should all be eliminated from your list.
Listen back to the remaining songs and try to work out which one fits best with the theme of your wedding or you both agree on as a couple. If you’re still struggling to make a choice, think about the sort of dance you’d like to do. This can help to cut down your last few choices, based on songs not working with the type of dance you have in mind.
Thinking about the dance
Doing something out of the ordinary can create a really memorable moment – something you’ll look back on fondly and your guests will be sure to remember. This could be a choice of song that catches people off guard, or the dance you perform could be more unconventional.
Maybe you want to have a slow dance, a more energetic number or a dance with choreography. The choice is yours – just think of the practicalities involved. Choreography can be limited if there’s a heavy wedding dress involved, for instance. This might mean you need to opt for a song that’s calmer or more relaxed, so more practical for dancing.
If neither of you are exactly the most graceful dancers, think about getting lessons in the run up the wedding. Not only can this be a great way to help you feel more confident about getting up on the dancefloor. It also gives you the opportunity to surprise friends and family by breaking out some new moves as part of your first dance.
Making your final song choice
It might be that you both have a favourite song in your final selection – something that reminds you of each other or has a significance to your relationship.
Or, if you’ve really been struggling to agree on a track, you could ask for recommendations from friends and family to help you find the perfect song.
You don’t have to make your final choice right away. Take your time and discuss your reasons for picking each song. If you’re at a stalemate, try speaking to your DJ. They might be able to suggest which song will provide the best atmosphere, or even potentially mix you and your partner’s two favourite songs together to give you both what you want. This also has the added bonus of giving you a first dance song that’s unique.